Monthly Archives: April 2014

Season of Sweat, Storms, and Stretching

I want to confess that our time here in Cambodia is very different than what I expected it to be.  We have been here more than two weeks now, and God has had us focus on praying and encouraging the staff here at the base in Battambang.  When I envisioned coming back to Cambodia where I spent more than two months only two years ago, I thought we would be doing some of the same things as I did before.  However, God has us doing things that are quite different but exactly what He needs to be done.

Staff at YWAM Battambang

Staff at YWAM Battambang

Right now, it is the hot season in Cambodia.  Ironically, we came from the hottest part of the season in India to the hottest part of the season in Cambodia.  I heard an American who lives here remarking that it was 106 degrees in the shade.  Being from Texas, I understand the heat and know it well.  However, I do not like how it is so humid here that your clothes are constantly soaked with sweat even when indoors.  At any point in time, I could take off my shirt and wring it out and fill a bowl with the sweat.  It is not fun and definitely is not attractive, but it is where God needs us to be.

The only relief that we have had from the scorching heat was a violent monsoon that came out of nowhere.  It tore up the carport covering and part of the eating area and literally drenched our room before we were able to do anything to stop it.  I was outside for less than five minutes rescuing the truck from being demolished and came in dripping wet.  I guess it did not really matter because our room was half submerged anyway.  Apparently, we got more than two and a half inches in about 30 minutes.  After all this,  I have found some comfort in this verse, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:2).

While repairing a broken bicycle and dripping with sweat, a lady that has been here a while said something to me that I took as an encouragement from the Lord.  She said that right now, in hot season, is exactly the right time to come and encourage the staff.  The heat is not fun, classes are about two months from being finished in one of the schools, and most people are worn down at this time.  It would definitely be more comfortable to be here not in hot season, but God knew that He needed us here right now to encourage His people.

When God calls us, He is always directing us to what He needs us to do, He is just waiting on us to be obedient and come into line with where He needs us to be.

His people are much more important than our personal comfort!  Over and over, we have to remind ourselves that we do not make decisions based on our own comforts.  If that were the case, we never would have come to Cambodia, India, or on this faith journey at all.

Ming Hing and her granddaughters

Ming Hing, a blind woman Jeremiah prayed for 2 years ago and her granddaughters

God gives us the strength to grow beyond our comfort level so that His work may be done where He needs it and at the time He needs it to be done!

Worshipping the Lord in unity

Worshipping the Lord in unity

Where you are right now, ask yourself.  Are you in a place where you are comfortable?  Is it pleasant both physically and spiritually?  Are you being stretched so that you can grow or are you resting comfortably in what you have?

God constantly wants to be stretching us beyond what we are able to do for two reasons.  One, He wants us to grow and be able to do greater things in the Kingdom.  Secondly, and more importantly, when we are able to accomplish things that we could never do on our own, He is the only One who will receive glory.

I know that you are sitting there and have the desire to do great things for the Lord and to bring great glory to His name.  Ask Holy Spirit right now, where have you settled into a lifestyle of comfort?  Ask Holy Spirit to stretch you and do great things through your obedience to Him. Pray that He will give you everything that you need along the way, and trust that He will provide it.  Pray that He would use your life to bring great glory to His name!!!

I bless you to know that God is the great provider!  He gives strength in our weakness!!!  He gives mercy in our failures!!!  He gives us the ability to grow and change more and more into His image!!!  He gives us a continual life of adventure in obedience so that the comforts of this world do not make us ineffective for His Kingdom!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Easter, The Multiplication of Martyrdom

So, we are here in Cambodia now.  It seems that Wifi is much harder to come by in the day to day happenings that take place than it was before.  We have been here nearly a week, but have not updated and for this I apologize.  However, such is the life of those who are on adventure for the Lord.

Our travels here were uncertain and unplanned. After trying to reach our contact for two weeks and still not hearing from him, we came knowing that this is where we were supposed to be. The Lord rewarded our faith and when we got here, we were able to get ahold of our contact Both, and he took good care of us in Phnom Penh.  Good Friday, we went out with some of his family to a nearby mountain and got to pray over the nation from a high vantage point. Here, every high mountain in covered with temples and idols to demons. However, we claimed this mountain and the area for the Lord, and prayed that He would change the hearts of the people from darkness to the Truth.

Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh

Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh

After talking with Both and his pastor, they invited us to share with their church on Easter Sunday what God revealed to us to be praying for Cambodia and lead the people in prayer.  At that time, I agreed to it even though God had not spoken anything yet.  But, the testimony of the Lord is that He is forever faithful to His word, and He revealed three areas that we are praying over Cambodia, and are important for all of us to pray for ourselves and our nations.

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Jeremiah preaching at Living Hope in Christ Church

First, God spoke to me from Matthew 9:35-36 that Cambodia is the heart of Southeast Asia, and as such, the Christians should be praying that they would receive the heart of compassion of the Father.  Every time Jesus did miracles (feeding the 5,000, raising Lazarus from the dead, raising the widow’s son to life) it was because He was moved with compassion for the people. In the same way, we must be continually praying that God would give us His heart of love for Him and for His people.  I remembered that last time I was in Cambodia two years ago, this was one of the main things I was praying for myself.  It makes sense that this would be an important point of prayer for the nation.

Second, God continued speaking to me from vs. 37-38 of the same chapter in Matthew.  The harvest here is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  So, we need to be praying that God would send forth laborers into the harvest and be willing to go as He calls us to go forth.  It is interesting that the word Jesus uses here for sending forth the workers is the same one in Greek that is used when He is casting out demons.  God is calling His laborers to go forth with power and purpose into the harvest to reap the souls that He rightfully deserves and bought and paid for with His blood!

Lastly, God began to speak to me that we are all called to be martyrs!  For us, when we think of martyrs, we think of those who have died for being Christians.  But the Greek word we get martyr from literally means “ones who gives witness of what they know to be the Truth”.  We know more than anyone else what and Who the Truth is, and therefore, we are called to share it in the same way Paul was (Acts 26:16,18).  The Christians in the early church were so willing to share the witness of what they knew to be true that they did not care what persecution, trouble, life, or death became of them.  So many early Christians gave their lives as a witness for what they knew to be true, that we took the word and have used it for those who die for the Gospel.  This is how we overcome the enemy as it states in Revelations 12:11 “…By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.”  Jesus was The Faithful Witness unto death (Rev 1:5) and we must follow His example no matter what the outcome may be.  For the people here in Cambodia, surrounded by Communism and Islam, there is much more to lose than people in the US.

Jeremiah and Bandol

Jeremiah and Bandol

I want to call you to not just pray for Cambodia, though this is something I ask you to do, but to pray and apply all of these areas to your own life.

Pray that God will give you His heart of compassion and love and that everything you do will flow out of that same love!

Pray that God will send forth laborers with power into the ripe harvest, and be willing to be one of these, as He speaks, that He may receive the reward He bought and paid for with His blood!

Pray that God would help you to be a faithful witness to everyone around you of what and Who you know to be The Truth, and that He would use you just like Paul “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” Acts 26:18.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

God Determined Our Steps

This past week, we were able to return to Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu, India; where Jeremiah visited on his last adventure here in India.  Jeremiah was stoked to be able to finally go.  We took rest when we arrived there on Friday after very long and hot bus rides.  We stayed on the second floor, above Pastor Daniel’s church, and one floor below where the girls from the orphanage stay.  On Saturday evening we went to 5 different houses to pray over the families and people of the villages.  Some of these people lived in very small “hut” houses and did not have very much to offer, yet they still gave us something to eat and glorious chai tea.

On Sunday, we attended Pastor Daniel’s church and I got to experience what a real Indian church is like, 5 hours full of clapping and bouncing, loud prayers and Holy Spirit happenings.  Jeremiah preached about tasting the Lord.  Afterwards we prayed for everyone in the church and I was part of a deliverance of a woman who was afflicted by something I could not understand due to language barriers; but I was really challenged to seek the Lord for more discernment when it comes to those type of things.  That evening, we went to two different leper colonies and I spoke about the compassionate love of the Father; we fed them and Jeremiah and I laid hands on and prayed over them.

Visit at Leper Colony

Visit at Leper Colony

I knew it would be difficult for me going there and seeing these people’s lives and bodies being rotted away through the death sentence the enemy has placed on them.  Even then, I was overwhelmed with compassion, as I read so much that Jesus was, and filled with faith that God would bring healing to them.  We did not see anything physically happen when we prayed over them, but so many of them asked for prayer and I believe that God touched them and will continue ministering to their hearts, bodies and lives.  Afterwards, we went to a street corner where there were some homeless people gathered.  I spoke again on God’s love, we sang some songs, and we fed them and prayed over them.

VIsit at Leper Colony

VIsit at Leper Colony

Jeremiah and I were very excited when we found out that we were going to be teaching at the first YWAM DTS in Dharmapuri during the week.  This DTS is all local natives to the surrounding area, except for a few staff members that are from a different state.  These 16 students, some families, are going on their outreach in three weeks to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, however, a few of them are having issues with getting their visas and passports, some due to finances, so please be in prayer for them that God would provide all they need so that they can be sent out to these needy nations.

We felt that God was calling us to talk about missions throughout the week.  On Monday, we talked about original design vs worldly thinking.  Our original design is who God made us to be apart from sin, but the enemy through the ways of the world tries to separate us from the truth of who God says we are.  I taught them the 4 R’s: Repent (Confessing the sin of believing the lie – Acts 3:19), Receive (Receiving God’s forgiveness and asking Him to fill you with more Holy Spirit – Psalm 103:8-12) , Rebuke (Rebuke the enemy’s grasp on you because of the sin – James 4:7), Replace (Declaring the sin as dead and “paid for” and asking God to come and flood your heart and mind with Truth and empowerment to walk it out – Galatians 2:20.)  We then took them through breaking the chains of the past, negative self-image, and false humility; and broke them into groups so they could all ask the Lord for each other’s original design.  Great blessings came from this!

Jeremiah Teaching at DTS

Jeremiah Teaching at DTS

On Tuesday, Jeremiah talked about waiting for the word, promises and call of the Lord.  I shared on counting the cost and taught primarily from Luke 14:25-30, which talks about the cost of being a disciple.  Afterward, I had them ask God for 2 promises for the present time and 2 promises for the future and to write it down, as instructed by God through Habakkuk 2:2-3: “This is what the Lord said to me, ‘Write My answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.  This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed.’”  On Wednesday, Jeremiah shared on faith and perseverance out of Hebrews 11 and faith without conditions.  I taught about fear of the Lord vs fear of man and told some of my testimony of how bound up I was in every type of fear there is and how God set me free. I also taught out about unbelief out of Mark 16:9-18 and how unbelief can hinder us from receiving the promises of Jesus through this passage.  Then we took them through the 4 R’s again and broke off fear and unbelief.  There was so much freedom and fruit brought forth this night!!!

On Friday, Jeremiah taught on bearing fruit out of Luke 8: Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seeds, avoiding burnout, and planting seeds.  I talked about the importance of the secret place (Psalm 132:1-5) and how intimacy fuels missions (Luke 10:38-42).  It was obvious by the time we left Dharmapuri that we were sent there for reasons other than what we had in mind.  From the fruit that was brought forth through teaching at the DTS, we see we went there for that seed planting. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  At times we can be so set in our plans, but God has the ultimate plan.  So be encouraged that even when things might not go our way, God’s way brings forth far greater fruit and blessings than our way ever could!

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!